Rafael Nadal
Nadal has been an advocate for clay-court events - but that was not always the case Getty


  • Nadal is regarded as the greatest clay-court tennis player of all time.
  • The Spaniard won a record 10th French Open title earlier this year.
  • However, he did not always prefer clay as the video below shows.

A shocking rare clip has emerged of a teenage Rafael Nadal claiming to prefer the hard-court and grass surfaces over the clay-court which he would later rule in his tennis career.

The 16-time Grand Slam winning Spaniard is unanimously considered by most as the greatest clay-court tennis player of all time, having won the French Open for a record 10th time earlier this year.

In addition, Nadal's career renaissance in 2017 has seen the world number one add to his tally 22 Masters 1000 titles on clay as well as an Open Era record of 53 total titles on clay.

The 31-year-old has been so dominant on clay that many critics as well as tennis legends are using it against him in the debate on who the greatest tennis player of all time is. The critics have questioned his lack of major titles outside of the French Open, despite him having won the other three Grand Slams as well.

Based on the last decade plus, Nadal has preferred the clay-court surface and his successes speak for his choice. And, having never won the ATP Finals in London, Nadal has also complained in the past that it was not fair for him to play the season-ending event on the indoor surface, citing it as one of the reasons why he is yet to win the event.

He has also campaigned for more clay-court events during the tennis calendar year as recently as March of this year.

However, the video from his teenage days shows Nadal did not always prefer the clay-court surface. The 16-year-old can be heard saying he prefers the indoor hard-court and grass surface compared to clay in the footage posted recently by José Morgado.

"I prefer indoor hardcourts and grass to clay. But I also like clay," Nadal had said.

In the same clip, he also revealed his biggest dream is to win Wimbledon, which he managed to do twice in his career. "Winning Wimbledon, but I have to work hard," the tennis ace had said.

You can watch the video below: